Tag Archives: antivaccine

The Obscure Document Residency Programs Use to Decide If You’re Worthy


The Medical Student Performance Evaluation (or dean’s letter) will be sent to all your potential employers. Let’s talk about what’s in it!


  • You may have heard of the dean’s letter. It’s sent to all residency programs, one of the things they’ll use to choose who to invite for an interview. But do you know what’s in it…and that it’s creation begins on your first day of med school?
  • YouTube announces blanket ban on vaccine misinformation, and axes the biggest misinformation peddlers.
  • Can The Short Coats pass the 2021 IgNobel Prize Winners Quiz?

Today’s episode is sponsored by Panacea Financial, a division of Primis, Member FDIC. Check out their PRN Personal Loans to help cover board exams or application costs, with decisions in as little as 24 hours and great interest rates!

To Dave, it sometimes feels like the process of medical education is as complex and opaque as the actual medical knowledge it works to impart to students. In this elaborate system, absolute transparency is difficult to achieve, but there’s one thing Dave thinks students should keep in the backs of their heads from day one: the medical student performance evaluation (MSPE, or ‘dean’s letter’). That’s because this document will be sent to all their future employers, including their residency programs. And those programs will use it (and other data applicants and colleges supply) to decide whether to invite you for an interview. Yet Dave has the impression that many don’t even know what’s in this important document–which includes comments from residents and attendings on their personal qualities and performance–until just before they begin to apply for residency! That’s a problem for some students who, upon reading it for the first time, find that there’s a pattern of behavior that they should have addressed long ago. Dave discusses what all students need to know about this important document.

Also, the 2021 IgNobel Prizes for improbable research have been awarded; YouTube bans all vaccine misinformation and the peddlers of bogus vax claims; and California begins using a controversial–but effective!–technique to help people who use drugs kick the habit: paying them to stay sober.

We Want to Hear From You

How’d we do on this week’s show? Did we miss anything in our conversation? Did we anger you? Did we make you smile? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime  or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  It’s always a pleasure to hear from you!

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Second Looks and Fantasy Gap Years



As CCOM’s second-look day (which we call Get Acquainted Day) approaches,  Aline Sandouk, LJ Agostinelli, Miranda Schene, and Danial Syed discuss the benefits–to both the student and the school–of taking a second look at the schools they’ve been admitted to.  And listener Caven wants us to talk about our fantasy gap years.  Can our co-hosts articulate the benefits of gap year jobs that Dave made up for them?  Spoiler–they sure can.

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This Week in Medical News

UC Berkeley biologists have found a way to genetically engineer brewers yeast so that they pump out dank medicines.  Texas Republican state representative Bill Zedler has some pointless thoughts about why vaccines aren’t needed in the US.  And we discuss what Click and Clack, The Tappet Brothers have to offer med students.

We Want to Hear From You

If you could do anything you want–and you can–what would you do during your gap year? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

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The Darkness Without: SAD in Med School


Madeline called to ask: it’s finals week and you’re stricken with seasonal depression–what’s a med student to do?  We feel you, Madeline.  Luckily, Aline Sandouk, Nick Lind, Derek Bradley, and Hillary O’Brien are ready to throw open the curtains on their ideas to help.  And Jeannet-tello hit us up on our Instagram to find out what she should do about impostor syndrome.

Plus, Dave shares the recent video that UIHC Marketing and Communications unwisely allowed him to be in.


This Week in Medical News

Healthcare providers, if you want to take the Surgeon General’s advice and save people from dying of opioid overdoses, you might kiss your ability to get health insurance goodbye.  And a Tennessee physician starts off his new job as a US Representative by promising–for no reason at all–to dig up the dirt the CDC has been hiding about vaccines and autism.  Thank goodness, we’re all saved.

We Want to Hear From You

Are you nervous about starting med school? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Share your fears!

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We’ve Made It: Our First Tweetstorm


old time medicine photo
Photo by Internet Archive Book Images

Is labeling people during a med school interview a good idea?  Is such labeling always an example of ad hominem?  Are doctors who write newspaper articles espousing antivaccination ideas deserving of sanction by their employers, or are they simply expressing valid concerns?  Are their employers guilty of the same sins as administrators at NASA who didn’t listen to engineers before the space shuttle Challenger disaster? Our first-ever tweetstorm critique brought Dave to consider all these thoughts with Matt Wilson, newbies Laura Quast and Kendra Frey, and Adam Erwood.   Also, radiologists face the extinction of diagnostic radiology by AI and pigeons, 3D printers capable of producing functionally complete human skin are here, and hybrid pig-human embryos all found their way into the news this week.  And Dave tests his co-hosts’ knowledge of medical history in a Pop Quiz. Listeners, share your thoughts with us each week.  Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and see our Facebook page for a question to consider every Monday.

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Your Pre-med Clinical Experience Can Cost You Money and Waste Your Time…and Hurt Your Application.


backwards photo
Photo by mikecogh

Medical school admissions committees look for clinical experiences on applications, so it behooves premeds to seek out ways to get into the clinic as a way of learning about the practice of medicine and to show they are serious about becoming a physician.  But there are clinical experiences that can hurt your application, and the Association of American Medical Colleges want to warn premeds that participation might signal a lack of judgement. Corbin Weaver, Kylie Miller, Teneme Konne, and Levi Endelman give some advice on the ones to avoid.  Meanwhile our president-elect is thinking about creating a ‘commission on autism,’ and may be looking to a well-known anti-vaxxer to head it up.  And a cybersecurity flaw leaves pacemakers and defibrillators wide open to hackers, allowing them to shock patients or drain batteries.  And we find out whether our co-hosts can really understand their patients, even if they speak sdrawkcab.  Listeners, share your thoughts with us each week.  Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and see our Facebook page for a question to consider every week.

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21 Mumps Street


virus photo
In a world where people don’t get vaccinated, only one thing can save us. @#$%^ing SCIENCE! Photo by ZYG_ZAG

Cole Cheney, Matt Maves, Aline Sandouk and Dave talk about Cole’s revolutionary new idea to help antivaccers understand the consequences of their decision: create pop culture around everyday diseases! Yay! Write books, create movies, and television shows that deal with the issue! I’d watch a movie about measles in Disneyland, wouldn’t you?
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